June #82 : PACHA Gotcha - by Kai Wright

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Table of Contents

Kiss & Gel

Odd Boy Out

Pain Killer Pain

Gravest Show on Earth

Enemy at the Gate

How to Parent

On the High Wire

Party Politics

PACHA Gotcha

Waste Product

Three Wise Men

Poppy Culture

State of Race

Jail Tail

Ohio File

Oh! Calcutta!

School for Scandal

B Sting

Stat Splat

Beg To Differ

Oh, God!

Laughing Matters

Cable Ace

Bullox over Broadway

A Pair of Genes

Gene Machine


Fly by Night

All the News That's Fit to Zip...

Classical Lit

The Pill Chill

Mixed Signals

Tat's Two

Gender Bender


Who's Who

Big Sis

Clean Screen



Asimov As He Was


Tricks of the Trade

Cunning Linguist

Editor's Letter


Bloodless, Still Gutsy

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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June 2002

PACHA Gotcha

by Kai Wright

Be careful what you wish for. A year ago, when Bush was poised to disband his Presidential Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS (PACHA), advocates made angry noises. So the administration demurred -- and began quietly ushering foxes into the hen house. Now, HIVers are nervously waiting for the feathers to fly and their worst fears to be confirmed.

Yet at PACHA's March 14 inaugural meeting, love was in the air. Co-chair Tom Coburn, MD, held his typically reactionary tongue for two days, and the nine Clinton-era reappointments -- led by the rabble-rousing former chair Ron Dellums -- were on their best behavior, too. White House AIDS czar Scott Evertz served up his now-rote "we're such good friends" speech. Pfizer CEO Hank McKinnell (one of Bush's 25 new appointees) even made a point of bemoaning the dearth of treatment activists. Co-chair Louis Sullivan, MD, meanwhile, appeared ready to play good cop to Coburn's bad, eagerly endorsing a Clinton holdover's request that former Surgeon General David Satcher's "controversial" recent sex-ed report be distributed to members.

But Dellums and his crew's presentation of the previous council's closing report foreshadowed divisive battles ahead. The Clintonites declared their intention to put the brakes on the new council's rush to re-open long-settled debates -- such as whether or not condoms have a role in prevention. Coburn politely welcomed the report, pausing only to note that "the vast majority [of it], I wouldn't concur with personally." The new members, who sat quietly throughout the meeting, likely wouldn't, either. As the former Miss District of Columbia said when introducing herself, "I'm Rashida Jolley, and I'm here to talk about abstinence."

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